Philosophy

Philosophy: The love of wisdom, a discipline that seeks truth through reasoning rather than empiricism.

Wisdom: the ability to apply relevant knowledge in an insightful way, especially to different situations from which the knowledge was gained.

Everyone is a philosopher whether they know it or not. Some try to make a living at it. The saying “Don’t quit your day job” applies.

Many years ago, in my college days, I needed a class to help fill in my humanities requirements as part of my degree program. I picked an introductory philosophy course because it was offered at what I thought was a convenient time. As it turned out, it was a convenient time for napping. The professor was boring. The content didn’t have any meaning to me. Fast forward about forty years. The word existentialism came up in some of my reading a few times. I decided to investigate because I thought the word had a cool sound (what better reason to investigate?). I ended up reading several books on the subject. The thing that kept me going was the challenge of trying to understand. One of the authors, a translator of Nietzsche said words to the effect “if you read through Nietzsche once and think you understand him… you don’t”. For me, this describes my relationship with philosophy in general. I keep at it because I want to understand. I am making progress, but it is a very expansive field of study.

Philosophers have their own language and way of approaching things. They use logic to prove a premise. It is often a play on words and very intricate. One must go very slowly and weigh every word. Reading it is work. I don’t know why I read it for recreation. One of the mysteries of life.

One of the little pleasures I get out of life is seeing and thinking about the questions raised, intentionally or not, by the various movies and television shows I watch and books I read. Of course, the Star Trek body of work is probably the best known of these. They took on almost everything and if it didn’t make you think, you weren’t paying attention. Novels written by a small cadre of writers in France, is the basic source of what has become known as existentialism. Philosophy is everywhere.

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